Examining the economic impact of transport complex economies
Development and changes in port hinterlands have received considerable attention as they represent substantial opportunities to improve the efficiency of global freight distributions. Port regionalization was a concept brought forward by Notteboom and Rodrigue (2005) to articulate the emerging port hinterland dynamics in light of containerization, supply chain management and the setting of inland terminals. This paper expands this concept by focusing on a particular dimension of the regionalization paradigm concerning the evolving role of intermediate hubs. It is argued that, in addition to hinterlandbased regionalization, there is also a foreland-based regionalization where intermediate hubs capture a maritime hinterland. This intensity and viability of processes of foreland-based regionalization depend on multiple geographical, technical and market-related factors, and this paper identifies and analyzes these underlying parameters. By doing so, it assesses whether foreland-based regionalization is simply a transitional phase in port development or, alternatively, represents emerging functional characteristics of contemporary freight distributions. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.